Malawi President Joyce Banda on Tuesday launched a three-year gender policy, a government plan that seeks to create a conducive environment while building human resource capacities at all levels of society.
The Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (Gewe) will ran from 2012 to 2015 in 13 selected districts with poor socio-economic and cultural indicators and high prevalence rate of HIV and Aids.
Launching the programme at the newly constructed Bingu wa Mutharika International Conference Centre within the premises of the five-star The Presidentâ€™s Hotel in Lilongwe, Banda said the programme will level the playing field and allow equal opportunities for women and men in the development agenda.
Said the President: â€œWomen in Malawi account for 52 percent of the population and they contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of the country. However, the current analysis of the sociocultural and economic situation in Malawi shows that gender inequality [is] still persistent in every sector of the economy.
â€œBut the battle against gender inequalities cannot be won without menâ€™s involvement.â€
Earlier, European Union (EU) Head of delegation to Malawi Alexander Baum, representing the programmeâ€™s financiers, said Malawi continues to have high number of inequality rates.
The programme will be executed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), whose resident coordinator Athanase Nzokirishaka hailed government for the zeal and motivation it has shown by coming up with the gender policy.
During the function, Banda also beat her own drum, saying her Peopleâ€™s Party (PP)-led government â€œhas done very well in its first 100 days in office.â€
Banda was on April 7 2012 sworn in as Africaâ€™s second female president and the first in southern Africa, in line with constitutional order, following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika. She will clock 100 days in office on July 17 2012.